Adam Allsuch Boardman studied the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, followed by BA (Hons) Illustration at Leeds Arts University, graduating in 2016.
After graduating Adam began working on his new book ‘An Illustrated History of Filmmaking’ after publishers Nobrow made contact with him following seeing his final year work while exhibiting with the university at D&AD New Blood.
Aside from working on his book, Adam has had other opportunities to explore his passion through his work with Hyde Park Picture House, creating prints, merchandise, and policy trailers. We caught up with Adam to find out about his time at university and what he is doing now.
What did you enjoy about your time at Leeds Arts University and how did the course help you in starting out professionally?
I studied at Leeds Arts University for four years, beginning with Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and progressing to the BA (Hons) Illustration degree. What I found consistently valuable and exciting was the creative community. In addition to formalised teaching and lectures, there were ample opportunities to learn from collaboration, workshops and facilities staff. Rather than experimenting for the sake of it, I was encouraged to investigate my illustrative practice in a deliberate way, and given all the right tools and information to do so.
I started working with clients during my second year of the degree, and applying that work to the structure of the degree coursework really helped me learn to manage client deadlines and improve my professionalism.
What did you do after leaving university?
Towards the end of the degree I was voted in as the Students’ Union President. This was a year-long role during which I served to represent the students and worked with the fabulous Student Executive to introduce and improve Students’ Union activities. My illustration practice continued to grow; I worked with various museum design agencies producing large murals, labels and illustrations for clients such as the National Science and Media Museum and The Roald Dahl Museum.
It was during this time I also began writing and illustrating ‘An Illustrated History of Filmmaking’ with Nobrow, which was exceptionally fun. Alongside a similarly large card game project ‘Home on Lagrange’ I have really focussed my practice through heavily involved research and specific contexts of illustration.
I presently work at a co-working space at Duke Studios, having pitched for an initial period of four months, I’ve now been there for just over year. Being a freelancer doesn’t have to mean working in isolation, and I’ve really got a lot out of being surrounded by hard working freelancers from totally different professions. Eventually, I would aim for a studio space of my own, whether it’s shared or in a nice house, but for now I’m enjoying Duke and the endless supply of tea.
Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to work in your field?
A lot of my work has materialised because of pitching. As well as trawling the internet, the local community for briefs, it also helps to be proactive and create the briefs you want to do; whether it’s getting in touch with a business you’re interested in working with, or collaborating with peers.
Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?
I would absolutely love to make more books following a similar tone to ‘An Illustrated History of Filmmaking’. I really enjoyed absorbing the large quantity of research, and then having the grand task to export it into a clear and playful visual and literary language. At this specific time I’m talking to a bunch of clients and making pitches, so stay tuned for further illustrative news!